Ap Top News, Emmanuel Macron, Middle East, Lebanon, Financial Markets, International News, Virus Outbreak, Beirut

Ap Top News, Emmanuel Macron

Lebanese clear blast rubble from roads around cratered port

BREAKING: French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Lebanon to offer support after massive explosion.

8/6/2020 12:31:00 PM

BREAKING: French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Lebanon to offer support after massive explosion.

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese army bulldozers plowed through wreckage to reopen roads around Beirut 's demolished port Thursday, a day after the government pledged to investigate this week's devastating...

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese army bulldozers plowed through wreckage to reopen roads around Beirut’s demolished port Thursday, a day after the government pledged to investigate this week’s devastating explosion and placed port officials under house arrest.The blast Tuesday, which appeared to have been caused by an accidental fire that ignited a stockpile of ammonium nitrate at the port, rippled across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 135 people, injuring more than 5,000 and causing widespread destruction.

Can Circuit Breakers Stop Viral Rumors On Facebook, Twitter? Malcolm Nance: Putin finds Trump ‘an absolutely easy mark to manipulate’ Ilhan Omar Hits Back After Trump’s Racist Rally Attack: ‘This Is My Country’

It also may have accelerated the country’s coronavirus outbreak, as thousands flooded into hospitals in the wake of the blast. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to move in with relatives and friends after their homes were damaged, further raising the risks of exposure.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived Thursday amid pledges of international aid, and tweeted that “Lebanon is not alone.” He planned to visit the devastated port and meet with top officials.But Lebanon, which was already mired in a severe economic crisis, faces a daunting challenge in rebuilding. It’s unclear how much support the international community will offer the notoriously corrupt and dysfunctional government.

Losses from the blast are estimated to be between $10 billion to $15 billion, Beirut Gov. Marwan Abboud told the Saudi-owned TV station Al-Hadath on Wednesday, adding that nearly 300,000 people are homeless.The tiny Mediterranean country was already on the brink of collapse, with soaring unemployment and a financial crisis that has wiped out people’s life savings. Hospitals were already strained by the coronavirus pandemic, and one was so badly damaged by the blast it had to treat patients in a nearby field.

Dr. Firas Abiad, director general of Rafik Hariri University Hospital, the public hospital leading the coronavirus fight, said he expects an increase in cases in the next 10 to 15 days linked to crowding at hospitals and blood donation centers after the blast.

Authorities had largely contained the outbreak by imposing a sweeping lockdown in March and April, but case numbers have risen in recent weeks. A renewed lockdown was to go in effect this week but those plans were canceled after the explosion. The country has reported more than 5,400 coronavirus cases and 68 deaths since February.

“There is no doubt that our immunity in the country is less than before the explosion and this will affect us medium- to long-term,” Abiad said. “We desperately need aid, not only us but all hospitals in Lebanon.”Anger is mounting against the political class that has dominated the country since the 1975-1990 civil war, which has long been seen as hopelessly corrupt and incapable of providing even basic services like electricity and trash collection.

Sen. Booker: Please, really invest yourself in the election Dodgers beat Athletics to clinch their eighth consecutive NL West title Here's what Trump and Biden will debate over in their first face-off next week

The investigationinto the explosion is focused on how 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in fertilizers, came to be stored at the port facility for six years, and why nothing was done about it.The Port of Beirut and customs office are notorious for being among the most corrupt and lucrative institutions in Lebanon, where various factions and politicians, including the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group, hold sway.

Fueling speculation that negligence was to blame for the accident, an official letter circulating online showed the head of the customs department had warned repeatedly over the years that the stockpile of ammonium nitrate was a danger and had asked judicial officials for a ruling on a way to remove it.

The cargo had been stored at the port since it was confiscated from a ship years earlier. Based on the timeline and the size of the cargo, that ship could be the MV Rhosus. The ship was initially seized in Beirut in 2013 when it entered the port due to technical problems, according to lawyers involved in the case. It came from the nation of Georgia, and had been bound for Mozambique.

ADVERTISEMENTThe stockpile is believed to have detonated after a fire broke out nearby.It causedthe most powerful blast ever seen in the city, which has survived decades of war and conflict. Several city blocks were left littered with rubble, broken glass and damaged vehicles.

Authorities have cordoned off the port itself, where the blast left a crater 200 meters (yards) across and shredded a large grain silo, emptying its contents into the rubble. Estimates suggested about 85% of the country’s grain was stored there.Lebanon is highly dependent on imports, and the destruction of the port, along with the worsening cash crisis, have raised fears of shortages.

Two planeloads of French rescue workers and aid were sent to Beirut, as Macron offered support for the former protectorate. The countries retain close political and economic ties.Other countries, including Greece, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey and the European Union, have dispatched medical supplies, humanitarian aid and search-and-rescue teams.

Opinion: CEOs, make sure your employees aren't struggling to get by Yalitza Aparicio es la nueva imagen de Dior Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill face off in food delivery commercial

___Associated Press writer Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed. Read more: The Associated Press »

Trump's ABC town hall: President faces tough questions on coronavirus response, health care, racial injustice

President Donald Trump took questions from uncommitted voters in Philadelphia in a 90-minute town hall special hosted by ABC News.

'SUPPORT' I just remembered how Macron, a French leftist, rebuked the mob when they wanted to plunder historical monuments. Not even the Republicans in the US wanted to take a stand for historical monuments. Surely his extreme creepiness will distract people from their plight. Remember the US MARINES October23,1983 WeNEVERFORGETNoaidnorComfort2theEnemy

A real president and humanitarian realDonaldTrump would never do such a kind, compassionate and humanitarian thing. trumpsadisgrace americaortrump trumpsasocioath trumpwearsadultdiapers trumpshavingTIAs He should visit Kashmir too... more people died and more have been injured.. why being selective KashmiriLivesMatter HamidMirPAK mubasherlucman Reuters BeirutExplosion

Is he bringing tons of aid and sanction relief, or he just wanted to stroll around zionist destruction. Unless France is gonna throw down a ton of medical supplies, food, and other urgent aid, I am going to guess his postcolonial presence will not be particularly welcome. lewis_goodall According to the British government headed by BorisJohnson France isn’t a sovereign, independent country. Did EmmanuelMacron have to get permission from Brussels to travel there? Of course he didn’t!!!!

lewis_goodall But surely he's not allowed to project global power … he's supposed to be shackled by the EU. Only we are allowed to do things like that

Death toll in Beirut blast rises to more than 50, says Lebanese health ministerThe death toll from a massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday has risen to more than 50 killed and over 2,700 injured, Lebanon 's health minister said in televised remarks. 1000 plus deaths :( What a truly horrible event. Awful 50 after this disaster good

Death toll from Beirut blast reaches 100 and could rise, Lebanese Red Cross headThe death toll from a massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday has reached 100 and more victims are under the rubble, the head of the Lebanese Red Cross told local broadcasters on Wednesday. Missile aria-aria! Ma quale deposito di fuochi artificiali?! nobody cares Condolences to Lebanon

Israeli square bathed in Lebanese colors in rare show of support over Beirut blastThe red, white and cedar green of the Lebanese flag were lit up over a Tel Aviv square on Wednesday in a rare show of Israeli solidarity with Beirut as it reels from a devastating explosion. Why do you have to say that? Why not just celebrate one nation standing in solidarity with another in a time of crisis? THE F,G CHEEK

Huge Beirut explosion shatters windows across Lebanese capitalA large number of people are reportedly injured after a huge explosion ripped through the port area of Beirut , shattering glass for miles around Fire cracker don't explode like that. It looks terrorist sinister plan went gone wrong. Killed with his own bomb. That was probably the first explosion ..... never seen anything like that Our house windows were shaken in Nicosia CYPRUS and all neighbours were out in the streets asking what happened. Wishing our Lebanese friends well.

Huge explosion rocks Beirut, injuring hundreds across Lebanese capitalA large number of people are reportedly injured after a huge explosion ripped through the port area of Beirut , shattering glass for miles around It’s a miracle something like this doesn’t regularly happen in a small country 🇱🇧 bordering both Syria and Israel, with huge Iranian presence in the form of Hezbollah, and plenty of groups of people hating each other. “Hopefully” it’s an accident Oh no😢💔 BeirutBlast

Massive explosion in Beirut port area rocks Lebanese capital, at least 10 reported deadA large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut Tuesday evening local time, shattering windows in surrounding neighborhoods and wounding hundreds of people, witnesses reported. Grain bin exploded, all that dust and grain will do that. For a sec I thought this was Chicago.